The language works, it's always being extended by fans but after the first album Vander started really putting meaning into his lyrics and telling a long story that is actually still being released to this day! Seriously, there is a 2015 album.
Some of the titles can be translated, but there aren't many lyrics available and no one ever translates anything. But just as an example:
Theusz Hamtaahk: "Time of Hatred"
Ẁurdah Ïtah: "Earth Hate"
Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh: "Destructive Machine Command"
It gives you an idea of what the story becomes, also, machines seem to have a bigger meaning such as how humans have become less humane, but the actual story seems to be:
"A guy called Nebehr Gudahtt, subtitled The Great Prophet, has a vision that the Earth is cursed forever and destined to perish, and the only way for the people to save themselves is to unite themselves and sacrifice their lives on Earth in order to achieve proper enlightenment." (stolen from here)
Well, actually, it's a french rock jazz prog "ascension" band with a made up language and a classical drummer from the 70's
have you ever heard of that, a classical drummer? At least that's what their wiki tells us (don't worry, my research went farther than that, I speak a bit of french), but just hear the guy click here
oh and the first video is of their first album
So what's with this band?
According to what we can find on google, which isn't much, Christian Vander was high as shit and instead of writing lyrics just sang whatever felt right. Thing is, it worked out well and to this day his Kobaian folklore has many followers and even it's own musical style - the Zeuhl.
Gibberish or not, the lyrics tell the story of a post-apocalyptic human life in Kobaia, where everyone speaks kobaian and I suppose are similar to indians because sometimes the music sounds very tribal.
Speaking of tribal - what can we take from the music itself?
We can hear what feels like wandering, primitive and ritualistic sounds. I can imagine a movie like Planet of The Apes while listening to Magma, obviously the guy who wrote this was feeling very high spiritual. But really, you can hear the story he's trying to tell and you can tell he was trying to tell a story. The weird noises they make are sometimes just funny though, but they use a lot of female choral throughout the other albums. Kobaia ends with screaming and noise, then tribal chanting, from what I've read there was another catastrophe in Kobaia now, and the cover/symbol symbolizes that with the claw and skeletons.
The music is generally repetitive, but not minimalist, usually finding a groove and slowly altering itself to evolve in the generally lengthy hypnotic movements. (here)
Like I said in the beginning, you either love it or hate it, I personally enjoy crazy sci-fi stories and lyrics that tell a story so this gets a personal 10/10.
Instrumentally, it wraps up nicely with great new ideas and what a great harmony! It's so crazy, yet just genius. Mixing styles is good, it brings new sounds and content, so the jazz is very welcome. Sometimes they do make it a bit too simple and repeat too much, some parts just feel like filler to get to somewhere else and for that, Magma gets a:
9/10 - Fucking genius!